What Is A Papasan Chair

The papasan chair is also called moon, bowl, or nest chair and is known for its outstanding comfort and versatility. Traditionally, the papasan chair is made of a wicker or rattan frame and a short pedestal base, which supports a rounded bowl-shaped chair made of the same material. 

Exotic house plant in a white pot, yellow sandals and a papasan chair

This type of chair originated from Southeast Asia, namely the Philippines, and was introduced to the Western culture after World War II. The original design of the papasan chair does not have any cushions and only has an open woven type that keeps the occupant cool in hot climates. A papasan chair is as comfortable as it is stylish; it is not only iconic but also timeless.

A papasan chair is designed to give the absolute best comfort where people can relax. The large rounded and thick cushion allows you to be in a curled position without feeling discomfort.

It is a deep, comfortable, and snuggly chair that offers good seating and relaxation when you just want to kick back and enjoy reading your favorite book or watching movies.

How Do Nest Chairs Work?

Room with white wall rug and wooden rattan armchairs with console

Usually, the papasan chair comes in three parts: the base, the rounded cushion basket, and the large cushion itself. The base is composed of two round openings: a large round opening on one end and a smaller round opening on the other end.

The narrow end needs to be placed on the floor making the wider end facing up, so the chair does not flip over. Then place the rounded cushion basket on the wide end of the base holding the underside of the basket positioned like a bowl shape chair. Lastly, place the cushion within the bowl of the basket chair

The papasan chair is designed with so much versatility that allows you to adjust the basket with the cushion to a comfortable position for you to get in and out easily. The round cushion basket can be pushed back so that it sits off-center in the base and allows you to sit up comfortably.

The frame can also be positioned on the center of the base in order to have a total support on all sides when you prefer to curl up in a ball on the cushion. To make your papasan chair more cozy, you can add some throw pillows and your favorite lap blanket.

Types Of Papasan Chairs

Below are the different types of Papasan chairs.


Lounge area with mirror accessory and chair with throw pillow and blanket

The single type of papasan chair is the standard model of the basic papasan chair design. It has a vertical frame that is slightly reclined and a rounded base, topped with a cushion that can be adjusted for support to your relaxing posture. The round bowl shape chair offers relaxation as well as luxury while you rest in the seat. Read more about cocoon shaped chairs here.


Top view of an indoor terrace with concrete floors and furniture set with coffee table

Double papasan are also called mamasan chairs that look remarkably similar to the original design except that they are elongated and has an oval shape instead of the round bowl shape.

The double papasan can also be used as a daybed and spacious enough to accommodate two people. The frame is crafted with an oval deep seat combined with a longer cushion.


Round rattan chair with a warm plaid blanket and wood barrel table

Oversized papasan chair guarantees extra comfort, and the design makes it very convenient and reliable.  It is often referred to as a giant papasan chair, the oversized papasan chair is designed to be a massive chair with cushions and an upholstered back and arms making it a fully functional, completely formed armchair. 

The best advantage of an oversized papasan chair is its spacious and large size seat that makes it more comfortable, stylish, and beautiful.

Of course, oversized papasan chairs would require an additional oversized cushion functioning as armrests and small cushions in the lumbar and headboard areas in addition to the soft and airy main seat and back area cushions.


Papasan swivel chair have proven to be a stylish feature to any interior.  The swivel element fixed to the base of the chair is equipped with a swinging spring unit that allows the chair to recline and rock while sitting on it. 

The main difference with this design is that the upper seat can swivel a complete 360° movement on top of its sturdy pedestal support. 

As it twists and turn, the papasan swivel chair both adults and children to fall asleep without much difficulty and it adds fun to your living room, family room or dorm, indeed a really awesome element of freedom. Check out our family room vs living room guide here.


Blue folding chair in velvet fabric See this folding papasan chair at Amazon [sponsored link]

The folding papasan chairs are one of the most popular models due to its design that allows you to sit with your back close to the backrest comfortably, because it is very easy to use and can fold up as quickly as they unfold.  With such furniture, you will have no problem finding a storage place, as it is extraordinarily compact. 

This lightweight furniture can turn into a comfortable and safe seat for both adults and children.  Folding papasan chairs are stylish and general-purpose pieces of furniture which are easy to integrate both at home and in public spaces. 

They are very convenient to transport since these chairs fold up compactly and take up a minimum of space in your car.  The foldable papasan chairs are as comfortable as the original papasan chairs and are fit out with mechanisms that makes it safe for use.


White chair with yellow throw pillow with center table

While the basic papasan chair is perfectly round shape, the Papasan rocking chair has the same frame and cushion combination but it is positioned vertically upright.

The papasan rocker looks like a recliner than regular conventional papasan chairs and has the same thick, comfortable cushion. It is a combination of a comfortable papasan chair, and a cradle designed as a rhythmic rocking chair in which you can comfortably curl up inside and take a nap in style.


Sorbet dreams rainbow fur kiddie chair See this folding papasan chair at Amazon [sponsored link]

Another popular type of the bowl chair is the mini version of the regular sized chairs which kids can use in their own room and gives them convenience, allowing them to read books, and magazines, play with favorite toys, relax with gadgets in the comfort of their own room.

Since bowl chairs are designed with rounded edges, their simple and friendly shape, and adjustable seat provide safety for children and at the same time serve as an excellent decorative addition for children’s bedrooms or playrooms.


Wooden gazebo with rattan armchair, sheer curtains and a bench

Relaxation is an important part of our daily lives. There’s no better way than to have bowl outdoor chairs as the comfortable seat and perfect addition to your outdoor patio furniture, which you could use to chill out enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. 

The outdoor bowl-shaped armchair is the best and most practical choice to bring with you for your next outdoor adventure. Outdoor bowl chairs have an all-weather design concept taken in reference from its traditional material based on a wicker design. 

The challenge lies in the lifespan of the natural wicker, which eventually fades, becomes brittle, and starts to splinter.  The solution is to use a resin-type wicker that is resistant to the harsh weather elements. 

Indoor terrace with chair with blanker and brown area rug

The durable steel frame has a weatherproof wicker design, with classic looks and superbly comfortable cushions, and can go well anywhere in your garden or outdoor living space. 

The cushions however are not waterproof and so it needs to be stored under cover if the moon chairs are used outdoors in order to avoid the chance of receiving rain or excessive moisture.

Another idea of having a bowl-shaped couch outdoors is to remove the base turn the seat into a swing attach a rope or sturdy cord and hang it outside on your porch for the kids and adults to enjoy and not mind relaxing in it as well. Read more about maintenance-free outdoor chairs here.

Papasan Chairs with Ottoman

The bowl chairs paired with an ottoman or the so-called footrest offer the use of simultaneously beautiful, stylish, ergonomic, comfortable type of furniture. The ottoman is matched up with these types of chairs and used as a comfortable footstool on which you can rest your feet.

Bowl chairs with ottoman set offers the most comfortable furniture with high ergonomics characteristics because they follow the curves of your body and create the most comfortable conditions for healthy rest since it allows you to place your legs in a slightly elevated position which helps a lot especially if you have venous diseases.

The size of the ottoman may vary and can be adjusted to your personal preference but do keep in mind that the ottomans should not be too high or too low. 

The best height should be exactly half the height of the bowl couch, in order to be able to provide your feet with comfort and a convenient position. See ottoman dimensions here.

Frame Materials for Bowl Chairs

Wooden decorative fireplace, chair and teddy bears

Traditionally, the original moon chairs are made out of rattan or wicker. Modern designers still prefer these natural frames, including bamboo. 

Not only are these materials durable and can work harmoniously well in most interior solutions, but more importantly, these materials are environmentally friendly.  In addition, with proper use and appropriate care, they can last for a long time.

Nowadays, moon chairs are made of many materials, from plastic, and resin wicker to metal as an option after the natural materials.  These plastic and metal materials work well as a frame material for this type of seating, and they cost significantly less than natural rattan and wood. 

For outdoor seating, moon chairs are being designed with alternative materials that are weather-resistant and more durable, such as a stainless-steel frame. Moon chairs that are made of wicker or rattan should be properly treated if they are to be used outside; this way they will be protected from outdoor weather conditions.

Cushion Materials for Moon Chairs

Room with a robot vacuum cleaner on laminate floos

Choosing cushion materials for your bowl chairs is crucial, and you want to ensure you get the best quality that is worth your money. This type of seating is really more about the cushion; the first one is the unsurpassed comfort, and it provides almost 100% functionality.

To add more comfort and convenience in its maintenance, typically, the cushion materials are made of polyester stuffing.  Other cushion is filled with polyurethane foam crumb and hollow fiber which allows it to be fluffed up when the cushion becomes flat, and it will obtain its lush again.

If you are using your moon chairs on a deck or patio, it is best that you look for cushion upholstery that contains synthetic fibers, resistant to moisture and mildew, is durable and prevents fading due to sun exposure.  Look for cushions made of polyester that have been specially treated to withstand the different harsh weather elements. Read more about the types of cushions here.

Ideal Sizes for Papasan Type Chairs

Grey chair and table with white top

Keep in mind that the base of the moon armchair is larger than the top, so it is wise to consider the amount of area taken up by the chair’s rounded bowl-shaped cushion basket and not just the floor space in which the chair will be placed. The cushion size ranges from 46 inches round to 78 by 58 inches oval. 

Consider this, a 46-inch bowl chair will require a minimum of a 48-inch square of floor area or make sure that there is enough space for the person to sit comfortably without feeling enclosed between walls or avoid being cramped up with the rest of the furniture.

Typically, a standard moon armchair measures between 35 and 60 inches broad and 35 inches deep.

Papasan Style Chair Weight Limit

Chair with red blanket near table with wine glass and small fruit basket

The weight limit of moon chairs varies depending on the model, including the frame material it is made of, plus the weight of the cushion that goes with it, if there is any. Usually, the standard moon chair is designed for people weighing around 200-300 pounds.

Will a Papasan or Nest Chair Fit in a Car?

Room with black chair, yellow pouf sofa and pallet furniture

Since the bowl-shaped armchair comes in three pieces, it can often be dismantled and can be carefully and easily arranged in the car; while the cushion basket can often be a struggle to fit this seating in a car due to its diameter, which measures 35, 40, or 45 inches.

Visit our guide on the best fabric for dining room chairs for more related content.

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